Wireless monitoring will be the single most impactful technology advancement in senior living in the coming years, according to senior living operators surveyed in a new study by Healthsense and Senior Housing News.
A vast majority of senior living professionals acknowledge the need for more technology to assist in the senior care sector, and many are already in the process of adopting new technologies despite existing challenges, the survey, The State of Senior Care Technology & Investment, conducted in late 2013 showed, with wireless monitoring tech leading the charge.
“Community owner/operators visibly grasp the criticality of providing better care in the face of significant challenges—the greatest of which may be the rapidly growing frail and elderly population—and also recognize the time for technology implementation is now,” said Bryan Fuhr, VP of Business Development and Marketing for Healthsense. “To date, the perceived lack of proven business models has been the number one barrier to broader adoption of remote monitoring, as cited within the survey.”
Among the challenges cited by the 670 senior living professionals surveyed across more than 280 operators, many said the decisions to implement new technologies fall on CEOs and there’s a lack of decision makers whose sole responsibility is technology and or information tech. Only 40% of those surveyed reported having a chief information officer within the organization who is tasked specifically with implementing tech.
Lack of measurable return on investment was also expressed as a barrier to adoption, though Healthsense has found proven results with respect to its eNeighbor platform, already in use by senior living providers nationwide.
Those operators the platform saw a 27% reduction in move-outs compared to comparable communities without the technology. Staffing efficiency also improved by 40 hours a week—the equivalent of a full time employee—per 42 residents. Additionally, revenue generated from service packages offered to residents tripled under the use of eNeighbor.
“Monitoring activities of daily living can have a hugely positive impact on the lives of seniors and can improve ROI for communities employing monitoring technology, as reports from the Center for Technology and Aging indicate,” Fuhr said. “Couple this with recent proven business models such as those documented in An Economic Analysis of Technology-Enabled Care, and the path forward becomes clear. Senior living providers can and are generating significant ROI from investments in remote monitoring, while delivering better care.”
Editor’s note: Senior Housing News worked with Healthsense in the conducting of the survey and compiling of its results.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker